Well, that was a few days ago. Look at Lissa Lucas today:
In an interview with The Intercept two days after being thrown out of the legislature, Lucas wondered if Shott had overplayed his hand by having her expelled. “He brought so much more attention to it by having me thrown out,” she noted.
It has certainly helped her fundraising.
As of this writing, her campaign has raised more than $50,000. Lucas told The Intercept that this is a nearly elevenfold increase from the $4,000 she had raised prior to her address at the legislature. “I’m blown away,” she said.
The significance of this amount cannot be overstated. The website Ballotpedia tracks the total campaign contributions in District 7 for every campaign cycle going back to 2000. Lucas’s sum raised so far is more than twice the $17,498 raised by all three candidates in 2016. It is larger than the total funds raised during any cycle in the district in the 21st century. (The second-highest fundraising was $23,994, raised by four candidates in 2006). The current amount raised by the incumbent, Republican Jason Harshbarger, is not yet publicly available, but he raised just $9,300 in 2016.
Lucas is doing all of this without attending the high-dollar fossil fuel fundraisers she has criticized many in the legislature for patronizing — including Harshbarger. In December, he was hosted at a fundraising event by a phalanx of fossil fuel lobbyists brought together by the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association.
I’m shocked, folks. Not by the amount she managed to raise just by lifting her voice up a bit; she’s earned that. I’m shocked, rather, by how little it takes to buy off a corrupt lawmaker in West Virginia. A couple thousand bucks and a fancy dinner and booze-schmooze at the local chain hotel? SOLD!!!
And I am pleasantly surprised by how quickly things can turn around. Even in one of the poorest (and most corruption-ridden) states in the Union, a woman who spoke out found massive support…and proved that you don’t need Big Oil and Big Frack money to mount a successful campaign. You just need to be there on behalf of those who will actually elect you…namely, THE PEOPLE. And they will reward you far more richly than Big Fracking Oil ever could.
PS: Here’s Lissa Lucas, talking to Jimmy Dore about the bill, its corrupt sponsors, and why it’s unpopular: